Next V/UHF Contest is Sept. 10/11th — ARRL Sep. VHF QSO Party. 10 GHz Contest Starts This Weekend.

   6:50am central — Let’s get some info up about the next all-band VHF/UHF contest.  I’ll be working on this post for the next 10-20 minutes. 
   The 3 V/U contests with the biggest participation nowadays are:  1)  ARRL June (this has really taken off, due to many years in a row of great E skip openings on 6m, plus an influx of newer and motivated 6m ops).  2)  ARRL September and 3)  ARRL January.  A close runner-up in 4th place is the CQ WW VHF in July (6m and 2m only) and in 5th is the ARRL UHF in early August.   I’m not into 10 gig ops, but some are and this is their time of year, right now.  Both this weekend and the 3rd weekend in September is the ARRL 10 GHz contest.  Link to that info is here:   As I’ve mentioned before, NLRS ( out of MN is a strong 10 gig club.  There are other pockets of 10 gig interest scattered around the Great Lakes.   Ask around, and you’ll find out who to network with. 

   But this post is about the ARRL September VHF QSO Party.  It starts at 1800Z Saturday, Sept. 10th and runs 33 hours until 0300Z early Monday, Sept. 11th.  Talking 1pm Sat. until 10pm Sun. in the central time zone.   Operate as little or as much as you like.  All V/U bands from 50 MHz on up thru 144, 222, 432 and into the microwaves are in play.  Here’s the rules link from the ARRL website: 

   Do not feel as though you don’t matter if you only have a couple of bands.  Most V/U contesting takes place on 6 and 2m.  We welcome and need the smaller guns, the newer stations, the curious.  Don’t worry if you don’t have big yagis up high.  You’ll make contacts anyway.  Tell your friends, and make some noise.  Have a lousy QTH?  Go roving and operate from high places where you can clean up and be the desirable DX we’re all looking for. 
   The VHF/UHF contests are the single-most active time (save for a huge tropo opening) on our bands.  If you like activity, you want to be on the air for the contests, plain and simple. 
   If you have no idea how to “do” a V/UHF contest, allow me to help.  Exactly 8 years ago, I had little clue myself.  I just knew that I liked busy bands, and guys were telling me that the contests had the most activity.  So I couldn’t wait to get on for my first contest — which was the Sept. contest in 2003. 
   I think if every ham knew how relaxed and enjoyable a V/UHF contest was, many would give it a try.  To help with the learning curve, I’ve written a series of articles called VHF Contesting School.  I break things down into bite-sized pieces.  The goal is to get any ham with at least 6 or 2m comfortable with sitting down and calling “CQ Contest”.  Even a total newbie.  The VHF Contesting School articles are here:   You are welcome to pass that info along to hams everywhere.  The more that get on for contests, the more fun everyone has.   Long after I’m done with promoting V/UHF 52 weeks a year, I hope those articles will continue to get new contesters excited.

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